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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Razi bin Rais as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Razi bin Rais has been a Microsoft SharePoint Services MVP since 2007, Microsoft Certified Professional Developer and Microsoft Certified IT Professional for SharePoint 2010. Razi has authored numerous articles published online and also has worked with Microsoft Learning as a subject matter expert on several SharePoint 2010 courses. Razi is a speaker for the International .NET Association and the Global IT Community Association , and has led many sessions in several industry trade show conferences including the Microsoft TechDays, ISV innovation Days, Community Technology Updates and SharePoint Saturdays. Razi blogs at http://razi.spaces.live.com and tweets at @razibinrais he can be reached at razibinrais@live.com.

    Asset Library is a new welcome addition to SharePoint Server 2010. One of its focuses is to make it easier for end users to interact with digital assets (image, audio, and video) by providing features like image previews, build in video player etc.hi

    Creating a new Asset Library

    Asset Library can be used in variety of scenarios, but for introductory purposes lets create an Asset Library called Wildlife Adventures which you will use to store videos and images that you gather online and from your personal trips all around the world. As the content contains both images and videos you want it to be easily share and view by your office colleagues. In order to follow the walkthrough you need to have a SharePoint Server 2010 environment, if you don’t already have it then you can download ready to use SharePoint Server 2010 virtual image from Microsoft here.

    The creation process of an Asset Library is similar as of other types of libraries for example Document Library etc. Anyways following is a quick walk through in case you are new to SharePoint.
    Browse to your SharePoint Site and click Site Actions and then View All Site Content.

     

    On All Site Content Page click Create.

    Select Asset Library from Installed Items, in the text box type Wildlife Adventures and finally click Create.

    You will be taken to newly created asset library Wildlife Adventures

    Understanding Types of Assets
     
    Before you start putting the content into your asset library let’s take a quick look on how SharePoint works with the various types of content that will be stored in the asset library. Basically SharePoint defines three content types against three types of digital asset it supports in Asset Library namely Image, Audio and Video.
     
    You can take a look into these content types by browsing to the Library settings page. For this first click on Library Tab and then select Library Settings button inside Settings group as shown below.

    Take a look at Content Types section (you may need to scroll vertically to see it).

    You can even click on the content type’s names (Image, Audio, and Video)   and you will be shown the details of columns contains in that content type.

    Under the Content Types section there is a Columns section which lists all the columns along with their type and which content types are using them. This provides good summary without drill down into each of the content type individually.

    As you can see not all columns are used by all content types, for example Date Picture Taken column is only used by Image content type but Copyright column is used by all three content types.

    Managing Digital Assets

    Let’s put some content inside newly created Wildlife Adventures asset library. Following is the quick walk through. Feel free to use you own content, but do take note that for audio files supported formats are WMA & MP3 (ISO/MPEG Layer-3), and for video files the format is WMV.  If you try to upload files with other formats you will get a warning as shown below.

    To upload file(s), first click on the Add new item link.

    From Upload Document window, you can click Browse button and then select a file you want to upload.

    In case you want to upload multiple files click on the Upload Multiple Files link. This will bring a new Upload Multiple Documents window. You can easily drag and drop files & folders to this window.

     

    Finally click OK to upload the file(s) on the Wildlife Adventure Asset Library. You will be shown the progress of your upload, once finished click Done to close this window.

    As I have uploaded two images these available inside the library as shown below

    Move you mouse (hover) to any the image and you will get a preview window for that image. This window contains image along with other information like it name, the content type and other important information.

    At this moment you may be wondering how SharePoint 2010 will display video file? Let’s upload a video file and find it out. You can follow the same steps as mentioned earlier in this section to upload a video file as there is no difference in uploading mechanism for either type of content (image, audio, and video).  However as expected because there is difference in columns that video content type supports you need to provide information for these columns. It’s highly recommended that you provide correct information as this will help filtering and find ability of the content. If for some reasons you don’t have this information you can leave all the columns blank except Name, also make sure that correct content type is selected. This is so because by default SharePoint will always select Image as default content type even though if you had uploaded a video or an audio file. In the first screen shot only the bare minimum information is provided (not recommended) , where as in the second screen shot relevant information is provided.

    Finally click Save, to store all the information.
     
    Now hover your mouse over the video and a preview window will appear, this is similar to the preview window as you seen when you hover you mouse on an image. However this time there is another option available for you to play the video, click on the play link.

    The video will be played within the current browse window. You must have Silverlight installed in order to view the video.

    Limiting Columns from Preview Window

    You may want to control the level of information available on preview window for example you may want to remove the Scheduling Start Date and Scheduling End Date information. If you look closely you will notice that you are viewing all the content in a Thumbnail View. Simply put this view is the one that provides the preview window functionality. The easiest ways out is to simple choose not to display columns Scheduling Start Date and Scheduling End Date inside this view. This is what you will do next, but this might not be ideal solution in every scenario and you should look for creating a new view and using thumbnail view as a base view. For keeping things simple I will not discuss creating new view in this article.

    Let’s remove Scheduling Start Date and Scheduling End Date from Thumbnail View.
     
    Go to Library Settings page and locate Views Section. You may have to scroll vertically to find it as it is the last section on that page. Finally click on the Thumbnails link.


    On the Edit View page locate Columns section, and Unselect Schedule Start Date and Scheduling End Date display checkboxes.

    Finally click OK to save your changes. OK button is located both at the start and at the end of the Edit View page.

    Now notice that preview window does not display Scheduling Start Date and Scheduling End Date information.

    In conclusion Asset library is a great way to manage your digital assets. From users prospective it allows them to easily interact with multimedia content by providing them ability to preview images and play audio and video files right from SharePoint environment. With this I have to end this article otherwise it would be too length for a blog post, but there few other things that might help leverage Asset Library better, for example using Metadata Navigation to easily navigate and filter content. You can watch out for similar post on my blog at http://razi.spaces.live.com/


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    Momentum is already building behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer - IE9. With all eyes on the IE9 public beta released on September 15th, 2010, it’s hard not to get excited.  And we see MVPs leading the way once again! As thought leaders in the community, MVPs are on the forefront of the discussion around IE9. MVPs Tony Bradley and Ed Bott have written about how IE9 reinvents web browsing as we know it.

    Tony Bradley, at PC World advises:

    “Web developers and IT admins should pay close attention to the IE9 beta. It raises the bar for Web browsing and before you know it, it will be the number one Web browser on the market.”

    Ed Bott at ZDNet notes:

    “Oh, and IE9 feels wicked fast!”


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    Do you have questions about SharePoint? Want to learn more about SharePoint 2010?  By popular request, SharePoint MVPs from around the world are participating in a live chat event about SharePoint. These Q&A events are a great opportunity to tap into the vast knowledge of these industry professionals who are regarded as the best in their field.

    Please join us on Wednesday, September 29th between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM PDT! Learn more and add these chats to your calendar by visiting the MSDN event page http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/chats/default.aspx.


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Bill Raymond as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Bill Raymond has served the Project Management industry for nearly 20 years. His project experience ranges from managing commercial software releases to implementing ERP systems and developing business processes to build corporate governance policies and standards. Bill is currently the Vice President of Solutions at Program Planning Professionals, Inc. (Pcubed) and has held the title of Microsoft Project MVP since 2001.

    Okay so the title may not sound too catchy but it is real important to us Project Managers.  A Risk is something that could happen (and an Issue is something that did).

    Here is a scenario I run into all the time on IT projects.  One of the risks is the hardware to run a new piece of software never ships on time.  I get a quote from IT that it will take 3 weeks to get the hardware and another 2 to setup.  We log a risk that it could take longer for the hardware to show up and then, surprise, surprise, the risk occurs.  Now, the hardware takes 8 weeks and due to conflicts, it won’t be configured for another 4.  In Microsoft Project, I used to create the schedule that with the original estimate of 3 weeks to acquire the equipment and 2 weeks for setup.

    (graphic: NoRiskImplemented.png)

    Given past experience, you and your team members can usually tell you what risks are more than likely to occur.  For those tasks, I like to sit down with the teams and say “okay, tell me what we will do if this happens”.  Then I copy the current project plan and create a new Microsoft Project file that contains more tasks in them if risks occur.  In this case, the IT team might say if the risk occurs, add another task to borrow hardware from another project and install some of the software on older hardware device until the new ones come in.

    Maintaining two plans is extremely difficult because you have to keep them in sync manually and it is a real administrative burden.  With Microsoft Project 2010, you can use this very nice new feature called “Inactive Tasks”.  This new feature is not just designed for risk mitigation but I think most project managers will really like using it for this reason.  Here, you can add all the risks into your project plan and just make them inactive.  If the risk occurs you “Activate” them and suddenly the risk is fully integrated into the plan.

    !--[endif]-->!>!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>

    (graphic: InactiveTasks.png)

    As you can see in the graphic above, I created some tasks related to potential risks and then fully integrated them into the critical path.  Note however that some tasks are linked to the task yet the plan hasn’t adjusted with the durations I entered.

    When the risk occurs, I can simply make the tasks Active and my project will automatically update.

    (graphic: activated tasks)

    Note that the graphic above now shows the Risk tasks as being active and the dates in the project plan changed to account for these new items.

    This new Inactive Tasks feature is a welcome change and should greatly reduce the amount of time a Project Manager spends in managing project risk.


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    Would you like to learn more about the cool new features in Office 2010 and Windows 7 and what has changed since previous versions? Do you use Microsoft Office but would like to learn tips and tricks to be more productive at home, school or at work? Perhaps you are a new user who has questions on how to get started with Windows 7 or using the Office ribbon? Or would like to learn how to protect your computer from malware and viruses. Or perhaps you are just stuck and need answers.

    The Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are here to help! The MVPs are the same people you see in the technical community as authors, trainers, user groups leaders and answerers in the Microsoft forums. For the first time ever we have brought these experts together as a collective group to answer your questions live. MVPs will be on hand to take questions about Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007 products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project, OneNote and more. As well as the Windows 7 and earlier versions such as Windows Vista. In addition to Microsoft Office, the chat will cover Windows related topics such as upgrading, setup and installation, securing your PC, Internet Explorer, personalizing your computer desktop or having fun with Windows Live Essentials to share photos, make movies and more. All levels of experience are welcome from beginners and students to intermediate power users. Please join us for this informative Q&A style chat and bring on your basic and your tough questions!

    When:  Thursday, October 14, 2010 between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM PDT! To learn more and add a reminder to your calendar please visit our Communities site or Microsoft TechNet


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Ludovic Lefort as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series.

    1. Introduction

    Dans la version 2007 de SharePoint les interactions avec InfoPath se faisaient au travers de Form Library (ou Document Library).

    En effet, les formulaires étaient uploadés dans une library et certains champs du formulaire pouvaient être "promus" comme colonne dans SharePoint.

    Malgré que les données restaient stockées dans le formulaire lui-même, l'utilisateur avait la possibilité d'appliquer des filtres, des tris, etc . Dans SharePoint comme avec n'importe quelles autres colonnes. Cependant, il était impossible de modifier la valeur de la colonne directement dans SharePoint.

    Avec la nouvelle version de SharePoint Microsoft change complètement la manière dont InfoPath intègre SharePoint. A présent les formulaires de liste sont des formulaires InfoPath.

    Lorsque vous ouvrez un élément, la page affichée contient un formulaire InfoPath que vous pouvez très simplement modifier sans avoir recours à du développement.

    2. Personnalisation pour une liste existante

    Débutons par la manière la plus simple de personnaliser un formulaire. Créez une nouvelle liste dans votre site et appelez-la SharePoint books.

    Comme son nom l'indique, elle contiendra une liste de livres sur SharePoint. Voici sa structure:

    Affichez cette liste de votre site et cliquez sur le bouton customize form de votre ruban.

    Cette action a pour effet d'ouvrir InfoPath 2010 avec le formulaire de la liste en mode Design. Commençons par un changement purement cosmétique, nous allons ajouter une image à notre formulaire.

    La première étape consiste à ajouter une nouvelle colonne sur la gauche de notre tableau, ajoutez ensuite une image dans cette colonne et adaptez la taille du formulaire. Vous obtiendrez alors quelque chose comme ceci:

    Lorsque vous êtes satisfaits de votre personnalisation, la publication des modifications vers SharePoint est encore plus simple : un clic sur le bouton quick publish suffit:

    Voici le résultat obtenu dans SharePoint:

    Vous constatez donc à quel point il est simple à présent de personnaliser les formulaires dans SharePoint.

    3. Utilisation des règles dans InfoPath

    Un deuxième avantage non négligeable dans l'utilisation d'InfoPath est sa notion de règles. Les règles sont des actions/comportements définissables sans utilisation de code.

    Il existe trois types de règles : le formatage conditionnel, les actions et les validations.

    Dans cet exemple, nous allons ajouter une régle de type formatage conditionnel. La règle sera simple, mais permettra de démontrer la simplicité d'utilisation des règles.

    Ma liste contient une colonne de type Yes/No définissant si un livre est disponible ou pas. Je souhaite colorer le titre du livre en rouge ou vert suivant la disponibilité du livre.

    Faites un clic droit sur le champ titre du formulaire dans InfoPath et choisissez rules, manage rules. L' interface de gestion des règles pour votre champ s'affiche:

    Ajoutons deux règles de type formatage conditionnel: Disponible et Indisponible. La première aura une condition testant si le champ Available est égal à true et formatera le texte en vert. La deuxième testera si la valeur du champ est égale à false et formatera le texte en rouge:

    Republiez votre formulaire dans SharePoint à l'aide du bouton quick publish et testez votre formulaire.

    4. Création d'une liste SharePoint depuis InfoPath

    Une autre possibilité offerte par InfoPath 2010 est la création de liste ou library. En effet, il est également possible de définir un formulaire avec tous les champs nécessaires.

    Lors de la publication du formulaire dans SharePoint, une liste avec les colonnes nécessaires sera créée.

    Illustrons cette fonctionnalité : démarrez une nouvelle instance d'InfoPath et choisissez le template SharePoint List.

    La première étape de l'assistant consiste à entrer l'adresse de votre site:

    Choisissez ensuite un nom pour votre nouvelle liste, dans ce cas je vais choisir Reservation. Cette liste permettra d'enregistrer des réservations de livre.

    Passons maintenant à la création proprement dite du formulaire.

    Le premier champ que nous allons ajouter nous permettra de choisir un livre depuis notre liste de livres. Pour ce faire, ajoutez un contrôle de type dropdown list sur le formulaire. Nne fenêtre s'ouvre automatiquement et vous permet de choisir la liste source et le champ à afficher:

    Ensuite, n'oubliez pas de renommer le champ avec un nom plus précis. Vous pouvez le faire via le menu Control tools, Properties du ruban. Dans ce cas, nommez votre champ Book.

    Ajoutez ensuite deux champs de type datetieme picker et nommez-les From et to. Le dernier champ à ajouter sera de type rich text et s'appellera Comment. Voici le résultat final:

    Publiez le formulaire comme fait précédemment à l'aide du bouton quick publish. Depuis votre site, testez votre nouveau formulaire.

    5. Utilisation de l'InfoPath WebPart

    Parmi les nouveaux WebPart de SharePoint 2010, on retrouve l'InfoPath WebPart. Ce WebPart permet l'intégration de formulaire InfoPath et c'est exactement ce que nous allons faire.

    Nous allons ajouter le formulaire de réservation créé précédement et l'intégrer dans une page à l'aide de l'InfoPath WebPart. Modifiez la page d'accueil de votre site et ajoutez-y un WebPart:

    Vous trouverez l'InfoPath Form WebPart sous la catégorie Office Client Application. Ajoutez-le sur votre page. Modifiez ensuite les paramètres dans le panneau de configuration du WebPart afin de choisir votre liste:

    6. Conclusion

    Nous venons de voir la facilité avec laquelle InfoPath permet de modifier les formulaires de SharePoint 2010. InfoPath est donc, à mon sens, l'outil à maîtriser lorsque l'on souhaite personnaliser les formulaires dans SharePoint.


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    On October 1, 2010, 206 extraordinary community leaders from around the world were notified that they were awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for the first time and 1014 MVPs were re-awarded. Announcements are made quarterly and each year over 4,000 MVPs are honored. The MVP Award recognizes inspiring, trusted, and independent experts who voluntarily share their passion and knowledge of Microsoft products with others. MVPs represent nearly 100 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in almost 90 Microsoft technologies.

    The MVP Award Program is pleased to announce that beginning this October Award quarter, additional technical expertise’ are now being recognized--Windows Phone Development and Windows Azure!

    The Windows Phone Development expertise seeks to recognize leaders in the Windows Phone 7 developer community. MVP Business Group Lead, Michael Fosmire, said,

    “We’re thrilled to recognize for the first time 22 Windows Phone Development MVPs from around the globe.  These MVPs have displayed expertise with a variety of development tools such as Visual Studio, Expression Blend, Silverlight, and the XNA Framework in support of the technical community, with the distinguishing characteristic that they all target Windows Phone 7 devices.”

    Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft datacenters. MVP Business Group Lead, Rowena Branch, explained, “We awarded approximately 25 MVPs in this technology area.  We are looking forward to these MVPs serving as leading influencers in one of Microsoft’s strategic cloud initiatives!”

    Microsoft strongly values its relationship with the MVP community. MVPs regularly offer feedback to Microsoft, representing the voices of thousands of people from technology communities throughout the world.

    MVPs are nominated by Microsoft, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. Please visit our nomination page to nominate yourself or someone you know to be considered for an MVP Award.

    The MVP Award is an enormous honor and is reserved for only the most extraordinary individuals--there are more than 100 million social and technical community members worldwide, but only a tiny fraction are as an MVP.
     
    Congratulations to the new MVPs, and welcome back to re-awarded MVPs. We are very excited to recognize your amazing accomplishments!


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    One of the things MVPs are known for is seeking out great ways to support the community. We hear stories like this often, and wanted to share this example with you. Recently Philippines Windows Desktop Experience MVP Chay Saputil helped pull together an IE9 developer briefing for the Windows7ako Facebook community. While she was engaged in helping 150 attendees gain product updates and information, she noticed community members who were doing presentations and found a way to recognize their efforts.

    When asked about how briefing went, Chay said,

    “I was actually a bit worried if people will turn up for the IE9 Developer Briefing and the windows7ako meetup.  It had been raining hard that day and although there were a lot of requests for additional slots, I was concerned that people would not be able to make it.  I was pleasantly surprise that we filled up the Windows Theatre at Microsoft Philippines for the IE9 Developer Briefing. We were only expecting about a hundred attendees for the meetup, but we had over 150 attendees!  More importantly was the interest that people had on IE9 as well as the participation of the folks from the windows7ako community.   

    I provided the updates on Internet Explorer 9 and also announced our Evangelist Program.  I noticed that several people at the windows7ako Facebook Page were doing Windows 7 presentation for their schools, associations, and communities and felt that we needed to recognize and reward those who go out of their own way to do this. The Windows BG Lead – Mae Moreno was very supportive and agreed to give out Windows 7 jackets to those who did 5 or more seminars from Oct 1 to June 30.  It was truly exciting indeed.  Numerous volunteers from the windows7ako community helped not just in demoing IE9 but also in the little things like registration, games, and activities. It was one fun night that we hope to do again in the coming month.  

    To Microsoft, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the passion that I have in technology!”

    It is exciting to hear about the contributions MVPs are making to the community!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Project MVP Tim Runcie as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Tim is the president of Advisicon Inc., an international consulting, application development and training services firm.

    When I was asked to write a quick overview of one of the new and powerful features of Project 2010, the first thing that popped into my head was the new Team Planner view.

    What makes this so useful is that in this day and age of quick views, rapid drag and drop applications, phones and other visual devices, why can’t we quickly look at resources and manage them onscreen.

    Well we definitely can.  As a Project MVP, I am exposed to many different upcoming additions changes and enhancements to Project & Project Server, SharePoint and other Microsoft applications.  Under the NDA (non disclosure agreement), I am under pain of death not to reveal things that are about to come out until the correct time.  

    Pre 2010 launch, one of my more frustrating experiences is watching customers spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars trying to mimic dispatch drag and drop scheduling and not being able to shout out… HEY PROJECT 2010 DOES IT OUT OF THE BOX!!!

    Well the gag is lifted and I’m excited to talk about this feature, so let me get right to it.

    Drag & Drop Resource Management

    Welcome to the new team planner view of MS Project 2010

    The idea was to allow visual filter and assignment capabilities closely matched to what we find in dispatch scheduling tools.  That means on the screen, you can see people’s work in a graphic and visual manner and manage that work between a single to multiple resource.

    This view allows you to hover and see details, or to double click and drill into work.  

    The top portion is the existing work by resource (filtered or unfiltered) and the bottom pane is the unassigned work (which can be toggled on or off depending on what you the user decide to see).

    Overall the idea is to help the end user quickly see resources and what they are working on and then level, assign new unassigned work or to reallocate assignments between resources and see the visual impacts on the screen.

    In this next screenshot, you can see that resources are overallocated by the stacked activities on their schedule and the color coding (red in this picture) of work that exceeds their capacity.

    A neat feature is that you can color code work that is in the future as well as behind schedule and visually see what is overallocated all in the same view.

    Now there are multiple ways to manage your resources.

    1. You can right click on any task and then have it rescheduled or assigned to a different person. (seen in this next picture)

    2. Now my favorite….You also have the full ability to move, progress, update the task and or drag it from one person to another, including moving it forward or backward in time (just remember it will honor it’s links and may not move if you have predecessors and successors)

    This has a tremendous impact on resource managers who have to manage their teams and view all the work that is going on.  Now they have a quick view in Project 2010 to drag work between unassigned resources to current resources and do load balancing with this view.

    In the Team Planner view, you are able to click and drag the bottom tasks to any location or resource to plan and or schedule (or you could right click on it if you wanted).  If you have nested tasks with relationships, project can enforce or you can tell it to not enforce the linkages, thus protecting your overall project schedule from an accidental drag and drop.



    Conclusion:
    In a world of complex and possibly detailed project schedules, it is hard to visualize work by period for a resource.  Instead of trying to filter a Gantt chart and then drill into each task to manage the resources, you can use the team planner view to give you good visibility, quick control and ease of use to managing your resources and their workload.

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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Andrew Lavinsky as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Andrew Lavinsky is a Managing Consultant with Catapult Systems’ Houston office, where he focuses on implementing Microsoft technologies to enable organizational performance improvement.  As a professional trainer and consultant, Andrew has a diverse background providing services in such industries as oil and gas, health care, finance and IT.

    This article will demonstrate how to create visual resource swimlanes within the Microsoft Project client.  Our goal is to take this project view:

    You can turn it into this in just 4 easy steps:

    These instructions assume that the reader has some experience with the Microsoft Project tool, and is capable of creating custom views and fields with little to no extra guidance.  For best results, also note that this technique is ideally for projects with only one resource assigned to a task.

    Step 1: Our first step is to populate the Resource Group field in the Resource Sheet.  The Resource Group field is one of the few resource fields that propagate to task data.  Populating this field allows us to group our activities by department or functional group.

    Step 2: Add a custom Group to the Gantt Chart View (or more specifically, a copy of your Gantt Chart View). In 2010, the Group options are now located in the View Tab, under Group By > More Groups.  Set the Cell Background to white to avoid the default yellow highlighting.

    This results in a view that looks like this:

    Step 3: Navigate to the Layout Dialog Box on the Format Tab.  Ensure that Always Roll Up Gantt Bars is checked.  This will roll up any custom detail elements such as baselines or progress bars to the summary bar.

    Step 4: Double click on the Gantt Chart and add the appropriate graphical elements to the Bar Styles using the *Rolled Up Task item as a template.

    Bar colors may be controlled using custom flag fields.  In this example, I used three flag fields with the following formulas:

    Field

    Formula

    Flag1

    IIF([Resource Group]=”Analysis”,Yes,No)

    Flag2

    IIF([Resource Group]=”Development”,Yes,No)

    Flag3

    IIF([Resource Group]=”PMO”,Yes,No)

    You should now have a view that looks like this.

    Feel free to add finishing touches such as Gantt Row lines by right clicking on the Gantt Chart and selecting the Gridlines option.


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  • 10/19/10--12:03: Pre-PDC event for MVPs!
  • Prior to the kick-off of PDC 10 on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. We’ll be featuring NDA sessions with Microsoft product experts and hosting an evening mixer at The Commons for MVPs coming to PDC 10 or those who are in the area (PDC attendance is not a requirement). This MVP-Only Event will be taking place on Wednesday, October 27, 2010.

    To register for this event:
    Please register here: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22B6JPAC67B or contact your Microsoft MVP Lead for more information. Registration ends October 20th.

    This will be a great opportunity to meet with the Microsoft product experts and fellow MVPs!

    !--[endif]-->!>!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>

    !--[endif]-->!>!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>


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    Do you have questions about SharePoint? Want to learn more about SharePoint 2010?  In this special event the Microsoft Certified Masters (MCM) for SharePoint will be joining the SharePoint MVPs from around the world for their monthly live chat. These popular Q&A events are a great opportunity to tap into the vast knowledge of these industry professionals who are regarded as the best in their field.

    Please join us on Wednesday, October 27th between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM PDT! Learn more and add these chats to your calendar by visiting the MSDN event page http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/chats/default.aspx.

    So who are the SharePoint MCMs? The Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) programs offer exclusive, advanced training and certification on Microsoft server technologies to seasoned IT professionals. The SharePoint MCMs are a growing community of 50+ members who have completed the program, validating their skills as technology experts who successfully design and implement solutions that meet the most complex business requirements. SharePoint MCMs include partners, MVPs, and internal Microsoft consultants, architects, and engineers. If you think you have what it takes to become a Microsoft Certified Master, learn more about Microsoft’s advanced training programs here.

    How can I connect with a SharePoint MCM? 

    • Attend one of the many conferences where they’re attending or speaking 

    • Peruse the MCM Directory

    • Learn from their experiences via the MCM blog roll on The Master Blog

    • Find them answering questions in the forums


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Bill Jelen as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Bill Jelen is an Excel MVP and the host of MrExcel.com. He is the author of PowerPivot for the Data Analyst: Excel 2010 from QUE. 

    PowerPivot is a new business intelligence tool introduced for Excel 2010. PowerPivot enables even casual users of Excel to produce sophisticated business intelligence reports from multiple data sets without having to master the VLOOKUP function.

    PowerPivot can use data from just about anywhere. Sheet2 might be some data imported from SQL Server or Oracle. Sheet2 could be a small lookup table that you paste from an Excel workbook. Sheet3 might be from a text file. Amazingly, data that is imported into Excel using PowerPivot is not limited to 1,048,576 rows per sheet. I’ve personally imported five million rows into a PowerPivot worksheet and I’ve seen 100 million rows on a PowerPivot worksheet. 

    The real day-to-day power in PowerPivot is the ability to create pivot tables using fields from any or all of the PowerPivot worksheets. When you choose to create a pivot table, you will see a new PowerPivot Field List instead of the traditional PivotTable Field List. This field list offers fields from all of the worksheets.

    Start to build your pivot table using fields from Sheet1. As soon as you select a field from Sheet2, PowerPivot suggests that a relationship will be needed. Click the Join button and PowerPivot will attempt to figure out the relationship between Sheet1 and Sheet2. In this example, the StoreID field on Sheet1 corresponds to the Store field on Sheet2. Because the complete universe of store numbers on sheet1 is found in the Store field on Sheet2, PowerPivot correctly guesses that StoreID and Store are the key fields. After a few seconds of processing, PowerPivot reports that a relationship has been created.

     

    In other cases, PowerPivot can not detect the relationship. When this happens, it will require three mouse clicks for you to define the relationship. Follow these steps:

    1. Switch to the PowerPivot window by using the PowerPivot Window icon in the PowerPivot tab of the ribbon.

    2. Click on the key field from one of the worksheets. 

    3. Go to the Design tab of the PowerPivot ribbon. Choose Create Relationship.

    4. In the Create Relationship dialog, specify the Related Lookup Table and the Related Lookup Column. Click Create.

    5. Return to Excel using the XL icon in the top left corner.

    6. Click the Refresh button in the top of the PowerPivot Field List. The pivot table will calculate.

    In this figure, data from all three worksheets is mashed up into a single pivot table:

    Excel gurus will point out that this logic could have been accomplished in any version of Excel using VLOOKUP. This is true. PowerPivot enables people who are not comfortable with VLOOKUP to join tables. Even if you are comfortable with VLOOKUP, it doesn’t make sense to add millions of cells of VLOOKUP to the workbook when PowerPivot can perform all of the necessary join logic in memory.

    PowerPivot includes the ability to use 140 different functions on the data in the PowerPivot grid. Many of these functions are the same as those in Excel, but PowerPivot adds two types of functions of interest:

    Time Intelligence Functions handle calculations such as MTD, YTD, Fiscal Year, and so on. You can calculate all records that are from the parallel period one year ago, or find sales from the same weekday that occurred 52 weeks ago (this latter calculation is critical when looking at retail daily sales).

    Filtering functions are used when calculating a new field in a pivot table. By default, the calculation for a cell will respect all of the filters applied to that cell in the pivot table. New PowerPivot functions such as ALL or ALLEXCEPT will allow you to override a particular filter. This is very useful when calculating the denominator of many popular calculations. 

    The combination of virtually unlimited records, joining tables without VLOOKUP, and the powerful new calculation options make PowerPivot the best new feature to arrive in Excel in the last decade.


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    Next week, many will be attending the DevConnections conference in Las Vegas, Nevada--where industry experts can connect with Microsoft to discuss exciting technologies and next generation strategies. On Wednesday, November 3rd, the Microsoft MVP Award Program will be sponsoring Open Spaces at DevConnections.

    We invite you to join us for snacks and drinks at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from 7:30pm until 9:30pm. The Open Spaces format is much different from your typical, scheduled sessions at DevConnections. At Open Spaces you won't have see pre-planned slide decks and pre-scheduled topics. The event will begin with a gathering where participants and attendees can assemble and propose topics. After the topics are determined, each will be assigned to a conference room. Then it's off to the discussions!  Participants have the option to join the conversation, choose to lead the discussion, or participate as an active listener. Don't worry though! You don't need to be an "expert" to lead the session—all you need is a passion to learn more about the topic! The format is intended to be organic.

    For more information on how Open Spaces began, and how it has evolved, visit MVP Paul Litwin’s blog.

    If you want to suggest topics beforehand, please visit the Open Spaces wiki. We are so excited to sponsor and be a part of this great event!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Robert Sparnaaij as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Robert Sparnaaij is an ICT Consultant and has been an Outlook MVP since 2004. With his web sites How To-Outlook and MSOutlook.info and his participation in the online communities such as the Outlook Answers Forum, he tries to help people to work efficiently with Outlook and related programs and systems on a daily basis.

    With all the big changes at the top of your screen, you might not have noticed yet all the big little changes at the bottom of your screen. The Status Bar got a major functional overhaul in Outlook 2010 which can help you with everyday tasks.

    If you were to take a quick look at your Status Bar now, you might find it looking something like this:

    As you can see, there is a lot more information being displayed now and some of these indicators are even interactive.

    Reading Layout

    My favorite option in the redesigned Status Bar is located in the right corner next to the zoom slider; Reading Layout.

    When you press the Reading button, the Navigation Pane, To-Do Bar and Ribbon all minimize at once leaving just your Message List and Reading Pane open. The result is a maximized reading area.

     
    Top: Normal layout
    Bottom: Reading layout

    The Reading Layout is a great layout for all sorts of scenarios such as:
    • Catching up with reading emails (like after the holidays) or RSS feeds.
    • Reading wider mails (like newsletters or messages containing tables) without needing to open them in their own window.
    • When working from a smaller laptop or netbook screen.
    • When working on a Tablet in portrait mode.
    • When you simply want to maximize your workable screen real-estate.
    Even when (continuously) working in the Reading Layout, you can still access all the hidden panes easily by clicking on its minimized area on the sides.
    Connection State

    Displaying the Connection State in the Status Bar originally was the main function of the Status Bar itself and of course; it is still there. The same is true for the Send/Receive status and clicking on it will open the Send/Receive dialog.
    Strangely enough, the Connection State section itself did lose its interactive functions and clicking on it no longer allows you to quickly switch to “Work Offline” or “Headers Only” mode; these functions are now moved to the Send/Receive tab of the Ribbon.
    There are many connection stateswhich Outlook can display in the Status Bar. If you have the Outlook Hotmail Connector installed, you’ll find that this now also nicely integrates with Outlook 2010’s Status Bar and does no longer add a Toolbar of its own.
    Item and Reminder Counts

    Aside from the total amount of items, the Status Bar now also displays the number of unread items and header items in a folder. Especially the last indicator is a welcome addition when you often need to work Offline as well; the count will indicate that there are still messages left for which the message body or attachment have not yet been downloaded.
    Next to the item counters, there is the new Reminder counter. This directly reveals the amount of Reminders that you still have without needing to switch to the Reminders Window. This indicator is interactive as well; a click on it will open the Reminders Window.
    Mailbox Quota

    If you are connecting to an Exchange 2007/2010 server and a quota has been set on your mailbox, Outlook 2010 will show you how much space you have left in there. This button is also interactive and clicking on it will open Backstage (the File menu) where you can access several Mailbox Cleanup tools.
    Too much information?

    If you find the new Status Bar much too cluttered now and want to hide a few items or only want to see Outlook’s connection state, then you can turn off the items by right clicking on the Status Bar. This will reveal a context menu in which you can easily select the information that you want to be displayed.

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    Prior to PDC10, MVPs visited our Redmond campus for an MVP-only event. We were able to catch up with MVPs David Kelley, Nik Kalyani, Ginny Caughey, Robert ZeltPeter Kellner, and Rob Gillen. We chatted with them about what the MVP Award means to them and about the importance of attending PDC. 

    The pre-PDC event featured NDA sessions and and a great opportunity for MVPs to network and connect with each other and the Microsoft product teams. While we were there, we chatted with MVP Ginny Caughey about developing for Windows Phone 7. MVP Michael Wood and community evangelist Brian Prince sat down with us to discuss Windows Azure as well! We will be posting our conversation with Ginny, Michael and Brian next week, so watch for that! We have also posted some photos from the pre-PDC event on our Facebook!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Nestor Portillo, director of Community & Online Support at Microsoft. Nestor recently participated at Tech*Days Taiwan 2010. He writes about his experience there.

    This fall I participated in Tech*Days Taiwan 2010, and it was a great reminder of the vitality and commitment of the MVP community. The event attracted more than 3,000 attendees, offering formal presentations, Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions, rotating Live Stage speakers, and hands-on tutorials—and MVPs provided more than half of the content delivered including explorations of IE9, Azure, Windows Phone 7, and cloud computing.

    Tech*Days Taiwan 2010 drew 3,000 participants

    Those of us who have the privilege to work with the MVP community are not surprised by that statistic. But Tech*Days Taiwan was a great reminder for me that numbers only tell a small part of the story. What was even more impressive was how MVPs’ participation increased the energy and excitement at the event. 

    MVP Jeff Chu displays his book on Azure

    Because of their respected place in the technical community, MVPs drew huge crowds in the community area and BOF sessions. People told me over and over again, “Wow, this was my first opportunity to meet him!” “It was so great to be able to ask him questions face-to-face!”

    Hands-on community learning

    How they gained their reputations as technical experts was clear throughout the event. MVPs served as speakers, delivering nearly 40% of the sessions, and they hosted all 10 of the more informal BOF sessions. They jumped on the community stage to provide tips and tricks and answer questions, sharing topical ideas about robotics, Data Core virtual storage, and Pilot Information Thin Client solutions.

    But, just as importantly, it was the ways in which they serve as leaders in the community that resonated throughout Tech*Days Taiwan. For instance, several major user groups were provided free MSDN subscriptions. Rather than giving them away to friends or colleagues, two MVPs decided to create their own visibility event, raffling the subscriptions to attendees in order to drive awareness of the value of user groups.

    This guy was a huge hit!

    When MVPs gather at events like these, they can’t wait to share ideas and experiences. But it’s not all technology all the time. At the Tech*Days Taiwan attendee party, it was great to see the MVPs asked to join each other on stage, singing and truly just enjoying being with each other. 

    I’m very much looking forward to seeing many of them together again this winter at the 2011 MVP Global Summit!


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  • 11/05/10--15:45: Tech-Ed Europe 2010
  • Tech-Ed Europe 2010 launched today in Berlin and MVPs have come from all over Europe to participate. Tech-Ed is entering its 18th year and is known for providing some of the most extensive training for Microsoft’s products and technologies. Attendees will receive deep technical content, hands-on learning experiences, and opportunities to connect with the industry and Microsoft experts one-on-one. Every year MVPs participate and bring their learnings from Tech-Ed back to the community. This year there are approximately 36 speakers who are MVPs, and many more in attendance!

    If you were unable to attend Tech-Ed Europe 2010, visit Tech-Ed Online. We are excited to share the experiences that MVPs bring back from this conference!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Echo Swinford as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Echo Swinford is a self-employed PowerPoint trainer and consultant. She has been a PowerPoint MVP since 2000. Find more PowerPoint tips and tricks on her website: echosvoice.com.

    Some of my favorite features of PowerPoint 2010 are also the best hidden! Save As Picture Presentation falls into this category.

    A quick and dirty way to protect your presentation from editing is to save the slides as images and then reinsert them onto a new, blank presentation. This allows the recipients to rearrange and even delete slides, but it prevents them from changing the actual content on any of the slides.

    In the past, we’ve had to perform all the saving and reinserting and re-sizing image steps manually, but PowerPoint 2010 lets you do it all with one click!

    To use Save as Picture Presentation, open the presentation you want to convert to a picture presentation. Click file, Save As.

     

     

    Click the Save As Type dropdown, choose PowerPoint Picture Presentation (near the very bottom of the dropdown list) and click Save to save the file.

     


     

    That’s all you have to do! The Picture Presentation will look just like your original presentation, but the slides will be images. The picture slides will use the same transitions as the original slides, and slide titles will be transferred so you can navigate easily during slide show view. 

    Unfortunately, there’s no option to include your speaker notes. If you need these, you can copy/paste them in slide-by-slide or check into the inexpensive add-in called Protect at http://www.pptools.com/index.html.


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    Long-time and well-known MVP Ginny Caughey took a few moments recently to give us her thoughts about Windows Phone development and described her first WP7 development experience: “During my spare time, I wrote an application using free development tools and then published it to the marketplace. Tech Radar awarded me and highlighted my application as one of the top 10 paid applications that people should consider buying!”

    Ginny was a delight to chat with and her passion for developing is infectious. We look forward to more opportunities to connect with MVPs during upcoming conferences.


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